Origin: Cucumber is a popular plant of the gourd family. Cucumis sativus (cucumber) is a creeping vine which belongs to the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae.
India is considered to be the birthplace of cucumber. Around 2-3 millennia BC, early Indian civilization domesticated. Almost each and every household grew cucumber. With time, India started cultivating large portions of cucumber.
During 1st millennia BC Indians were ready to open the doors of cucumber trading with Middle Eastern civilization and Europe. From residing in Indian borders, cucumber soon found a residence in Ancient Greece, Rome, Europe, and China. From here it reached Turkey, Bulgaria, Africa, Modern-day Serbia, and Italy.
Records of cucumber cultivation appear in France in the 9th century, England in the 14th century, and in North America by the mid-16th century.
The legend of Gilgamesh (king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk) talks about people consuming cucumbers. Greek civilization addressed cucumbers as síkyon.
It is offered to gods in Hindu mythology. According to a principal in Ayurveda, eating cucumber eliminates bad breathe as it helps in releasing excess heat from the stomach. According to the Ayurvedic school of thought, cucumber reduces blood pressure, water retention and detoxifies the blood.
Scientifically: Cucumber contains polyphenols called lignans that reduces the risk of various kinds of cancer such as breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate. Cucurbitacins present in cucumber also has anti-cancer properties.
Cucumber is blessed with potassium that lowers the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues. Water and fiber present in cucumbers are great for digestion as it decreases the symptoms of acid reflux. Also, the fiber puts bulk to your waste material and helps in quick digestion. Cucumbers are low in calories thus help you in weight loss.
Cucumbers are also known for reducing stress as they have vitamin B that lower anxiety and stress level. Rich in vitamin C, silicon, Sulphur, and antioxidants, thus cucumber helps in skin irritation, swelling. It is cooling and brightens the skin. It addresses dark circles, puffy eyes, etc. It addresses puffy eyes as its antioxidant nature smoothens the area around the eye. In addition, the ascorbic acid inside it takes care of water retention.
Animals and test tube studies reveal that Cucumber can stabilize the blood sugar level. Cucumbers have flavonoid that can help in pain relief as it is anti-inflammatory and tannins. The vitamin C in cucumber takes care of skin irritation and swelling. Cucumber as an astringent cools and brightens the skin. The silicon content in cucumber is great for healthy hair. It reduces hair fall and gives shiny hair.
You can use the goodness of cool cucumber to refresh skin, tackle sun damaged skin, control puffiness of eyes, cure open pores, cater to the scary cellulite, eradicate dark circles from your face, reduce wrinkles and under eye bags.
The flavonoids and antioxidants in cucumber decrease swelling, redness, and irritation. Thus they remove the appearance of puffy eyes.
Once cucumber juice is applied on the face, its contents namely water, potassium, sulfate vitamins A and C remove sun tan from the skin. The vitamin C and caffeic acid in cucumber guards skin against wrinkles. When it is combined with the exfoliating characteristics of yogurt, cucumber cleanses and hydrates the skin.
Cucumber seed oil is a blessing for skin. It is armed with a plethora of nutrients such as B-vitamins, Linoleic acid, Magnesium, Oleic acid, Omega 6 fatty acids, Palmitic acid, Potassium, Sodium, Stearic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. It is used to address dry brittle nails, repairs skin, and use as non-greasy moisturizer, to calms Eczema, Psoriasis & Inflammation and as an excellent eye moisturizer.
Usage: Cucumber is used in many edible products. It is also used in cooking and making of salads, juices, and other side dishes.
The antioxidants and nutrients present in cucumber are really good for the skin. It is thus used in making of many beauty products such as face pack, toner, etc.
Many women in India and other countries apply cucumber under their eye bags to reduce the blackening of the skin.
Here are some DIY with the refreshing cucumber:
- Blend cucumber and make a puree, mix it with the aloe vera and rose water. Apply over your face and rinse it off after 15 minutes to get a glowing skin.
- Grate a cucumber and extract the juice. Apply this juice on the face or body with a cotton pad. Let it sit for 15 minutes. This refreshes and lightens the skin.
- Take two cold slices of cucumber and place them on your eyes for 10-15 minutes. This reduces the dark circles and relaxes the eyes.
- Soak a tablespoon of oats in some cucumber juice. Mash them together and apply on the face for 10 minutes. This mask exfoliates the skin and also eliminates the blemishes.
- Take half a cucumber, 1 teaspoon yogurt, one teaspoon aloe vera extract, one teaspoon honey, and some lemon juice. Mix all these ingredients together and apply on the face for 15-20 minutes. Gently massage the skin and remove the mask with normal water, to achieve squeaky clean and rejuvenated skin.
- Take a tablespoon of cucumber puree and apply it on any skin irritation or burnt skin or tanned areas. Keep it for 20 minutes and then rinse. This soothes the skin irritation.